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September 26, 2018

AMD Eyes Data-Driven Server Upgrades

AMD is zeroing in on datacenter overhauls needed to handle faster data and analytics as a means of chipping away at rival Intel Corp.’s x86 dominance of the enterprise IT infrastructure market.

Some market analysts are bullish about the prospects for AMD’s aggressive push into a datacenter market long dominated by Intel, a strategy that hinges on the upstart’s EPYC processor family. One analyst quoted by the website Seeking Alpha went so far as to predict AMD’s market share could triple to 30 percent of the enterprise chip market.

Others remain skeptical, noting that Intel (NASDAQ: INTC) has withstood earlier AMD (NASDAQ: AMD) challenges while extending its datacenter ecosystem to include co-processors, middleware and networking technologies.

For its part, AMD said this week it sees several datacenter opportunities, including one industry estimate that as many as 6.5 million two-socket servers will require upgrades over the next 12 months. Hence, AMD expects to ride the wave hyperconverged infrastructure built around new hardware that can keep pace with a vibrant IT software sector designed to squeeze more performance from what AMD argues is underutilized hardware capacity.

The upstart chip maker outlined its EPYC strategy this week, noting that enterprise datacenters are due for upgrades as big data workloads predominate and cloud services require new security features such as encryption for virtual machines. “A refresh is needed for a true datacenter transformation to occur,” Daniel Bounds, AMD’s senior director of datacenter products, noted in a blog post.

“Second, speed is everything when it comes to data analytics and, thirdly, you don’t have to sacrifice performance for costs in the cloud,” Bounds added.

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